It was chosen for us as part of a local-sponsored cruisetour of Alaska. In all the information we were given ahead of our trip, nothing was mentioned about having a flu shot before going. By the third day on the cruise a bulletin was put out about colds/flu being reported on the ship, and I was already experiencing symptoms. I followed the recommendations and went to the medical clinic, where there were numerous very sick people. My symptoms weren't as serious as those I saw, but my concern was for my husband because he has a compromised immune system. I had no fever and the doctor said I only had a cold and I was right to be concerned about my husband. If you were diagnosed with the flu, you and your companion received Tamiflu and any shore excursions you had paid for were stamped and you would receive a refund. When I asked about my circumstance, the doctor told me I would be fine and go ahead and enjoy my excursions. By the end of the next day I had almost totally lost my voice and remained that way the rest of the trip. A couple days after I got sick, my husband became ill also. When I got home, a week after becoming ill, I went to my doctor. He swabbed me and my husband and we both tested positive for the flu. We then received Xoflueza, a flu medicine which we really needed in the first 48 hours, but he hoped it would help us some. He told us we were highly contagious, the first flu cases reported in our area, and to go home and stay away from everyone. He said they had to sanitize everywhere we had been. That's when we realized that when we walked onto the Golden Princess, we walked into the flu, because there was no way there was time between cruise sailings to disinfect that ship. The morning we left the ship, we were told to be out of our cabins by 8AM, because they had to be ready for the next group of people by 11:30AM. We had to wait in the Wheel House Lounge until departure about 10AM, using the public restrooms, having no idea we had the flu. When we left the ship, we collected our luggage and waited in an area until our bus to Seattle arrived. As we stood there, we watched people checking in for the Golden Princess. It's sad to think that people walk into this situation, completely unsuspecting and it's just the luck of the draw who comes into contact with the flu bug. I imagine whoever got our cabin next had an unpleasant surprise waiting for them. Princess doesn't care; they already had our money and made even more money on the medical charges; they don't accept insurance. I've been home nearly two weeks now and I'm not well yet, which has not only been miserable but has ruined other plans I had when I returned home. I hopes this helps save someone else from a disappointing trip!!
Also, we got very tired of having a camera in our face every thing we did and the pushy sales on the ship. Some of the crew were pleasant, but many were rude and didn't speak very good English. An example: one evening they had sled dog puppies that you could see and pet. Each puppy was on a pillow and tired and sleepy. When you pet the puppy, they had to take your picture petting the puppy. My cousin, as she walked away from petting a puppy, just reached down and patted another puppy on the head. She was immediately told that she wasn't allowed to pet "two" puppies, that she had already petted a puppy. Of course, all these pictures were for sale, $25 a picture.
We mostly dined at the Horizon Court Buffet, because we prefer to dine early and be free to dine as we wish. We were encouraged to dine traditional in the main dining room by the tour group we were with, but that meant dining at 7:15 every night at the same table with the same people and since we wanted more flexibility, we chose anytime dining. I celebrated my 70th birthday on the cruise and we ate at the Crowne Grill. It was very good; the steak was cooked just as we ordered. We especially liked being able to choose a sample plate of the four desserts available. We also ate one day at the pizzeria and once at the burger place; they weren't anything special, but good.
Our cabin was the most positive thing on the cruise. Although it was in the back of the ship (aft), and I suffer from motion sickness so not the best location for me, it was still a pleasant surprise. It was roomy enough, our bed was king-size, and there was lots of storage for our luggage and clothing. Our balcony was double the size of some of the other decks; we had a nice covered area plus an equal amount of space in the open air. We were on the 10th deck, the Caribe deck. Our cabin steward, Danny, took good care of us and was pleasant all the time.